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Protect your small child from flu

29th October 2013 | By Melanie Shilton | Posted in

Local NHS leaders are backing a new national campaign to get all toddlers and small children vaccinated against winter flu.

Their support follows assurances from Muslim and Jewish leaders that the new nasal spray complies with their religious codes, despite containing a substance derived from pork gelatin. The end product is so far removed from pork that there is no breach of religious laws, they agreed.

All parents with two and three-year-olds in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are encouraged to let their little ones be vaccinated, because flu can have such a devastating effect on small children.

This message is being reinforced by Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group in partnership with West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, and East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group.

Professor Azhar Farooqi, Co-chair of Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group and a local GP said: “The vaccine is easy to give and painless and has been used safely in other countries for a number of years. As a parent, you will be contacted by your GP or through your child’s school about getting your child vaccinated.”

Flu can be a nasty illness that can lead to a stay in hospital, especially for children with other medical conditions.

A study published earlier this month by Public Health England and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, found children are key spreaders of flu.

Professor Farooqi added: “If your children get flu they won’t be able to go to school or nursery for several days. Protecting your child can stop the flu spreading to other children and to the rest of the family, in particular to grandparents, who may be at particular risk from flu.”

Thousands of youngsters are already taking part in nasal spray vaccinations. The child vaccine programme will eventually be rolled out to include all those aged two to 16.

Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, said: “Severe winter flu and its complications can make people really ill and can kill – you are eleven times more likely to die from flu if you are in a clinical at-risk group. I urge everyone who is eligible to get the vaccine and help protect themselves and their families this winter.

“This year we are offering healthy two and three-year-olds a nasal spray vaccine to not only protect healthy children from flu, but to help to reduce the spread of flu and protect others, including younger brothers and sisters, grandparents and those who are at increased risk of becoming seriously ill from flu.”

You can find further information about the child vaccine here


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